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The Birth of St. Gemma Galgani

After Confirmation
Gemma with her mother
after receiving Confirmation.


Gemma Galgani was born on March 12th, 1878 in Camigliano, a village near Lucca, Italy. Gemma is the Italian word for gem. Her father was a prosperous chemist and a descendant of St. John Leonardi. Gemma’s mother was of noble lineage also. The Galgani’s were Traditional Catholics who were blessed with eight children.

Birth Home of St. Gemma Galgani, born on
March 12, 1878 in Comigliano, Italy

Gemma, the fifth child and first girl of the family developed an irresistible attraction to prayer while still very young. This came as a result of her pious mother who taught Gemma the truths of the Roman Catholic Faith. Mother Galgani especially infused into her precious daughter’s soul a love for Christ Crucified.

Gemma Galgani was baptized on March 13th, 1878 by
Fr. Qulilici, at the Church of St. Miguel in Comigliano, Italy

With zeal the young saint applied herself to devotion. When Gemma was only five years old she read the Office of Our Lady and the Office of the Dead from the Breviary as easily and quickly as a grown person.

When Gemma’s mother would have to busy herself with her daily duties as a housewife, the tiny Gemma would pull at her mother’s skirt and say, “Mamma, tell me a little more about Jesus.”

Unfortunately, Gemma’s mother was soon to pass away. On the day when Gemma received the Sacrament of Confirmation, while ardently praying at Mass for her mother’s recovery (as Signora Galgani was gravely ill) she heard an unmistakable voice in her heart say, “Wilt thou give Me Mamma?"

“Yes," Gemma answered, "but provided Thou takest me also.”

“No," replied the voice, "give Me unreservedly thy mother. For the present thou hast to wait with thy father. I will take thee to Heaven later.”

Gemma simply replied, “Yes.”

This “yes” was to be repeated throughout St. Gemma’s brief life in response to Our Lord’s invitation to her to suffer for Him.

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